As it happened: Pressure on Russia

Key points

  • Ukraine's interim prime minister says the Crimea referendum "will not be recognised"
  • Russia's upper house of parliament voices support to Crimea in its bid to become part of Russia
  • OSCE monitors are prevented for a second day from entering Crimea
  • Ukraine's Paralympic team decides to remain in Sochi for the Games while appealing to Russia for peace
  • Russian energy giant Gazprom warns Ukraine it will cut gas exports if debts are not paid off.
  • Prominent far right leader Dmytro Yarosh to stand for president in Ukraine. All times GMT

Live text


  • Bernadette McCague 
  • Sarah Fowler 
  • Lesley Sixsmith 
  • Patrick Jackson 

Last updated 7 March 2014


Welcome to our live coverage of the crisis between Russia and Ukraine over Crimea, as US President Barack Obama urges Vladimir Putin to seek a diplomatic solution. Stay with us for the latest developments, analysis and colour from our correspondents on the ground and your comments, of course.


Ukraine's Paralympic chief, Valeriy Sushkevich, says he has asked President Putin to ensure there will be peace during the Games in Sochi, so his team will not have to pull out over events at home - Reuters. "I repeated my one request, the one and most important request, that before and during [the Games] there will be peace," he told reporters in Sochi.


In the centre of the Ukrainian capital Kiev, there are quiet moves to restore a sense of normality after weeks when militant protesters, often masked and armed with baseball bats, seemed to rule the streets.


Sarah Rainsford, BBC News,

tweets: Message on Kiev's Independence Square to "self defence" groups: no masks, no baseball bats.

Message on Kiev's Independence Square


Christopher Miller, @KyivPost journalist

tweets: About 30,000 Russian soldiers have been deployed in Crimea, the State Border Service of Ukraine reports.


Eighty fourth subject? The speaker of Russia's upper house of parliament, Valentina Matviyenko, says Crimea will be welcomed as an equal if it joins ranks with the Russian Federation's 83 existing subjects, as Russia's regions are called. She was meeting a delegation from the Crimean parliament in Moscow.


Ukraine is ready for talks with Russia, but Moscow must first withdraw its troops, abide by international agreements and halt its support for "separatists and terrorists", Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk says - Reuters.


Ukraine's Paralympic chief suggests the crisis may be taking a toll on the fitness of his team in Sochi - AP. "I don't know to what extent the team can focus on the result now."


Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski says the EU needs to strengthen its defence policy and upgrade its response capabilities in the light of the crisis in Ukraine - Reuters.


Poland, which borders both Ukraine and the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad, is one of the EU states pushing for a tougher policy towards the Kremlin.